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Anti-Abortion Protesters Crowd Washington for Annual March

  • VOA News

Anti-abortion activists march past the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, to the Supreme Court as they observe the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Anti-abortion activists march past the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, to the Supreme Court as they observe the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Tens of thousands of people packed onto the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and crowded the steps of the Supreme Court to protest the landmark decision that legalized abortion.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Abortion opponents hold what they call the March for Life every year, this year braving sub-freezing temperatures while a light snow fell.

Anti-abortion activists say 3,300 abortions are carried out in the United States every day.

One of the marchers, Jody Duffy,says she disagrees with abortion unless the mother’s health is at risk.

"I just want people to be aware of the fact that you cannot walk into an abortion clinic one day and think that you're going to walk out and be the same person as when you walked in," says Duffy, who had an abortion three decades ago after being raped.

Abortion rights protesters hold signs as anti-abortion activists march past the Capitol to the Supreme Court in Washington, Jan. 25, 2013.

Abortion rights protesters hold signs as anti-abortion activists march past the Capitol to the Supreme Court in Washington, Jan. 25, 2013.

Abortion rights supporters were also making their voices heard, including Yasemin Ayarci, who spoke to VOA in front of the Supreme Court.

"What we want to do is lower the rates of abortions," she said. "We want to join them in that fight. But we want to do it through more rational means with sex education and birth control access."

Anti-abortion activists have been trying for 40 years to get Roe v. Wade overturned. Federal and state lawmakers have also fought for restrictions on abortions. They say life begins at the moment of conception and that science backs them up. They also say some women use abortion as a form of contraception.

Abortion rights activists along with many doctors say legalized abortion is a basic right.

Supporters say Roe v. Wade has saved thousands of lives of women whose health would have been in danger if they had to have a child. They also argue that women are no longer forced to seek unsafe abortions or even try the procedure on themselves with deadly results.

The abortion rights group, National Organization for Women, held a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening in front of the Supreme Court to mark the 1973 decision.

A new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows that 54 percent of Americans believe abortion should remain legal in almost all circumstances. The survey finds 70 percent oppose overturning Roe v Wade.

President Barack Obama has also come out in favor of abortion rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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